Images of languid late summer heat often come to mind when thinking about wildfires but this past weekend showed that fire risk is a year-round focus, especially in the South. Fires in Arkansas and Oklahoma have been in the news this week, with Arkansas seeing 86 wildfires burn 1,322 acres of land over the 3 day holiday weekend fueled by dormant vegetation drying quickly with warm temperatures, low humidity and consistent winds.
I spoke with Kevin Kilcrease, Arkansas Firewise Coordinator with Arkansas Forestry, and he shared that residents should pay close attention to burn bans, and relative humidity before they do any burning. Information on Arkansas burn ban conditions can be found at http://www.arkfireinfo.org/.
Kevin went onto share that, “a light dusting of rain may not be enough to make a difference. Firewise principals should be at the forefront of people’s minds at this point in the fire season. Due to the amount of dry dead vegetation that we have in our communities. These fires can start quickly and easily as was demonstrated over the long holiday weekend when several fires were sparked by a motorist dragging metal parts down the highway in Central Arkansas.”
His stressed that residents should take advantage of the mild weather to remove fuel from around their homes. For more information and guidance on defensible space you can do, visit Firewise Communities/USA and Arkansas Firewise.
Photo Credit KFSM KXNW 5Newsonline.com